On 31 May 2018, the AER published its final decision on the remade distribution determination for Essential Energy for the 2014-19 regulatory control period, commencing 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2019 (the remittal).
In April and June 2015, the AER published final decisions on the 2014-19 distribution determinations for NSW and ACT electricity distributors (Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy, Essential Energy and ActewAGL Distribution), and on the 2015-20 access arrangement for NSW gas distributor, Jemena Gas Networks (JGN).
All five businesses sought merits review of the AER’s final decisions. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) also applied for review of the AER’s NSW final decisions. The Commonwealth Minister intervened.
The Australian Competition Tribunal handed down its decisions in February 2016 (and March 2016 for JGN). It remitted the decisions to the AER to be remade, in particular in accordance with its orders regarding: the return on debt; the value of imputation credits (gamma); the four electricity distributors’ operating expenditure (and for ActewAGL Distribution, the implications of this for the Service Target Performance Incentive Scheme (STPIS)); and aspects of JGN’s capital expenditure.
In March 2016, the AER sought judicial review of the Tribunal’s decisions on gamma, return on debt and opex in the Full Federal Court. The Court upheld the AER's appeal in respect of the Tribunal's construction of the rules regarding gamma, but dismissed the appeal in relation to the cost of debt and operating expenditures of the electricity businesses.
As a result, the AER was tasked with revisiting its decisions on: the return on debt; the four electricity distributors’ operating expenditure (and for ActewAGL Distribution, the implications of this for the STPIS); and aspects of JGN’s capital expenditure.